The Sunday Aftermath – UFC Fight Night Berlin and TUF Brazil 3 Finale

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For the first time in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, two fight cards were held on the same day in different locations. Sao Paulo, Brazil and Berlin, Germany played host to the back-to-back events as octagon viewing hours reached double digits – we’ll discuss that soon. Here are my takeaways.

Munoz in limbo

Mark Munoz entered his fight against Gegard Mousasi with many people picking against him, including me. When he lost, nobody was too surprised. That lack of suprise, though, is noteworthy considering the calibre of fighter Munoz is. The Filipino-American is a decorated wrestler with a well sculpted standing attack.

He has all the tools to take a step towards a title shot but, like old training partner Jake Ellenberger and new training partner Michael Bisping, he never quite manages to make the grade. Against the calm and collected Mousasi he looked off the boil early, failing with a takedown attempt from the bell before letting the Dutchman escape off of an over elaborate slam attempt. Munoz pushed the pace but was second best in every exchange, eating shots to the body before another takedown try ended with Mousasi on top.

After a barrage of ground and pound Munoz eventually gave up his back and tapped to a rear naked choke. That makes it three brutal finishes in four fights for a man once considered a top contender. At the age of thirty six, Munoz is a borderline top-10 fighter who will likely struggle to re-ascend the rankings after his recent descent. It seems he is going nowhere quickly and with a growing reputation as a coach, we might not be too far away from the Filipino wrecking machine hanging up his gloves.

Miocic and Maldonado Mismatch

When Junior Dos Santos broke his hand a few weeks ago, forcing him to pull out of his TUF Brazil finale bout with Stipe Miocic, the UFC was left in an impossible position. The card was already in tatters having lost the original main event of Chael Sonnen versus Wanderlei Silva which was held preceded a weak undercard on paper.

Add to that the fact heavyweights in the UFC are almost impossible to find, especially one to headline in Brazil. In stepped Fabio Maldonado, a man who entered the UFC following an unbeaten (although low level) boxing career and paved his way to this point in his octagon career with wins and losses shared.

The problem is, Maldonado is a light heavyweight – and an undersized one at that. The matchmaking seemed odd but the UFC were left in a position where even a clearly bad option had to be considered and, in the end, used. In a way, Miocic winning by TKO after just under a minute of action was good for everyone. Maldonado didn’t take a prolonged beating which he has been know to do previously and Miocic finished it about as quickly as he was expected. So maybe we give them a pass on this one.

Two fights in one night

The UFC has been unrelenting in it’s view that the market isn’t over saturated and that there are lots of countries around the world starved of octagon action. Well, the UFC are half right. As an Irish UFC addict I know good and well how much we have been longing for an event.

The same can be said of Germany, Russia, Scotland, Korea and a number of other places. The problem is, there are only so many weekends in the year. Fulfilling the demand of the worldwide audience for live events consequently leads to an oversupply for the worldwide television audience. And it’s a problem that’s not going away anytime soon with three more double headers in the works for later this year.

Twenty plus fights in a row is too much for even the most hardcore of fan to enjoy – but ask the Germans if they are mad about getting a card on the same night as another one. It’s a necessary inconvenience; one which we better start getting used to.

Lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Co-host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Tuesday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma